Quanyu Wang


+44 (0)20 7323 8981

Quanyu Wang undertakes research on metalworking technology and investigation into the deterioration and preservation of archaeological metals and provides scientific services within the aims of the Museum.

As a member of the science teams she co-ordinates the development of new projects within the Museum and participates in the development of research collaborations with external museums and higher education partners. She has co-supervised an AHRC PhD project with Cardiff University on the desalination of archaeological iron: Archaeological iron in the British Museum.

She gained her BSc and MSc in ceramic materials from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and a PhD in archaeometallurgy from University College London, UK. Quanyu’s previous employment included a lectureship at Peking University, China and a research fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution and Sheffield University. Her research interests are the technology and conservation of archaeological metals.

Selected Current projects

Technical study of Chinese bronzes in the British Museum collection

Metallurgical analysis of bronze artefacts and fragments from the 9th-10th century site of Igbo Ukwu, Nigeria.

Scientific studies of copper and tin ingots from Salcombe, a probable Bronze Age shipwreck off the coast of Salcombe, Devon, England.

Metal analysis of Iron Age cauldrons from Glenfield Park, a collaborative project with University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) and Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)

Selected Previous projects

Metal analysis of Iron Age cauldrons from Chiseldon, see Chiseldon Cauldrons research project

Scientific analysis of Bronze Age shields in the British Museum collection

Scientific analysis of 19th - 20th century Balkan white metal jewellery

Studies of deterioration and preservation of archaeological iron

Microstructure and corrosion of untreated small bronze objects from Saqqara, Egypt

Casting experiments with archaeologically relevant tin bronzes.

Deterioration of Jin bronzes from China

Tests of Crios (R) foam as a pollutant scavenger used in showcases and storage

Deterioration and electrolytic reduction of archaeolological lead

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Member of the Historical Metallurgy Society (HMS)

Member of metal working group of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM).

Selected publications

Wang, Q., Strekopytov, S., Roberts, B.W. 2018: Copper ingots from a probable Bronze Age shipwreck on the coast of Salcombe, Devon: Composition and microstructure. Journal of Archaeological Science 97: 102-117.

Wang, Q., 2017. Chapter 6: Metal Analysis, in A. Baldwin and J. Joy (eds.), A Celtic Feast: The Iron Age Cauldrons From Chiseldon, Wiltshire. London: The British Museum Research Publication 203, 67-77. This was nominated for the Current Archaeology book of the year 2018.

Wang. Q. and Priewe, S., 2016. Technical investigations of three bronze vessels from southern China: two double-ram zun vessels and a pou vessel. The Bulletin of the Nezu Museum Shikun vol.8 2016, Special Feature, Current Research on the Double –Ram Zun. 154-142 (with Japanese version on 39-58).

Wang, Q., Uckelmann, M., Roberts, B. W., and La Niece, S., 2016. Technical Study of British Bronze Age Shields in the British Museum, R. Menon, C. Chemello, and A. Oandya (eds.), Metal 2016 Proceedings of the Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Metals Working Group, September 26-30, 2016, New Delhi, India. ICOM-CC and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi: 53-60.

Wang, Q.,  Strekopytov, S., Roberts, B.W., Wilkin, N., 2016, Tin ingots from a probable Bronze Age shipwreck off the coast of Salcombe, Devon: Composition and microstructure, J. of Archaeological Science 67, 80-92.

Wang, Q., Vlachou-Mogire, C., Gooch, M. and Cook, B., 2015. A metallographic study of debased silver coinage of Henry VIII, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 9, 57-63.

Wang, Q., 2015. Fabrication of the British Museum’s Ram Zun vessel, in Curatorial Division, Nezu Museum (ed.), Two Double-Ram Zun, World Renowed Chinese Bronzes from the Nezu Musuem and the British Museum, Tokyo: Nezu Museum, 13-15.

Wang, Q. and Wang, H., 2014. Compositional analysis of Qi coins in the British Museum collection, C., Wei and T., Rehren (eds.), International Symposium on Qin period metallurgy and its social and archaeological context, Beijing: Science Publication House, 109-120 (in Chinese).

Wang, Q., Priewe, S. and La Niece, S., 2014. A Technical Study of Inlaid Eastern Zhou Bronzes in the British Museum Focusing on a Unique Figure of a Leaping Feline, ISIJ International 54 (5) 1131–1138.

Wang, Q. and Priewe, S., 2013. A Technical Study of the Double-ram Zun Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessel in the British Museum, in K. Chen (ed.), Radiance between Bronze and Jade— Archaeology, Art, and Culture of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. Taipei: Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica. 257-283.

Wang, Q. and Priewe, S., 2013. Scientific analysis of a Buddha attributed to the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 7, 61–68

Wang, Q. and Crew, P., 2013. Three ores, three irons and three knives, in J. Himphris and T. Rehren (eds.), The World of Iron London, London: Archetype Publications Ltd. 393-401.

Rimmer, M., Watkinson, D. and Wang, Q., 2013. The impact of chloride desalination on the corrosion rate of archaeological iron, Studies in Conservation 58(4), 326-337.